HONOLULU, June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Hawaiian Airlines today announced that it has leased three additional Boeing 717-200 aircraft in response to increasing consumer demand.
With these aircraft joining the fleet, Hawaiian will be able to expand its interisland service between Honolulu and Kahului, Lihue, Hilo, and Kona during peak travel periods, and further improve its industry-leading operational reliability.
Along with acquiring the three additional aircraft, Hawaiian announced that it has purchased its existing fleet of 15 leased Boeing 717-200 aircraft in a refinancing transaction that reduces its fleet costs over the long term.
"With our increasing service to Hawaii from Asia, demand for our interisland flights during peak hours of the day and during popular travel periods has never been higher. Adding these aircraft will give us the ability to serve more customers during these periods," said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's president and chief executive officer. "At the same time, we are restructuring the ownership of our existing fleet to reduce our aircraft costs. With other costs rising quickly, this will help us keep fares affordable."
Hawaiian expects to take delivery of the three additional aircraft in September, October and November.
Starting in October, Hawaiian will add approximately 20 flights per day between Honolulu and its other airports in Hawaii. The company expects to hire an additional 40-50 pilots, flight attendants and ground staff to support the increased flight operations.
Hawaiian has purchased the aircraft it previously operated under long term leases from Boeing Capital Corporation (BCC) with financing provided by BCC and entered into multi-year leases with BCC for the three additional 717s. Terms of the transactions were not released.
"The 717 has proven itself as an able partner to Hawaiian's interisland mission. Hawaiian's decision to expand its fleet and move from operator to owner is a further vote for the world's best 100-seat airliner by an experienced and valued customer," said Jordan Weltman, Boeing Capital vice president for the Americas region.
The Boeing 717-200 is the world's best 100-passenger jetliner designed specifically for short-haul, high frequency operations. The twinjet features an advanced cockpit and avionics comparable to a Boeing 777, as well as a "big airplane" passenger feel with wide, five-abreast seating and large overhead storage bins. It is the quietest 100-seat airplane now operating, and among the most reliable with a fleet-wide average 99.4 percent reliability.
Hawaiian's 717s seat up to 123 passengers - eight in First Class and 115 in Coach.
About Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past seven years (2004-2010) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition, consumer surveys by Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Zagat have all ranked Hawaiian the top domestic airline offering flights to Hawaii. Hawaiian was also the nation's highest-ranked carrier for service quality and performance in the prestigious Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study for 2008 and 2009.
Now in its 82nd year of continuous service in Hawaii, Hawaiian is the largest provider of passenger air service to Hawaii from the state's primary visitor markets on the U.S. mainland. Hawaiian offers nonstop service to Hawaii from more U.S. gateway cities (10) than any other airline, as well as service to South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, American Samoa, and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 150 daily jet flights between the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com.
About Boeing Capital Corporation
Boeing Capital Corp. (BCC) is a global provider of financial solutions. Drawing on its comprehensive expertise, BCC arranges for, structures and, where appropriate, provides innovative financing solutions for commercial and government customers around the world. Working with Boeing's business units, Boeing Capital is committed to helping customers obtain efficient financing for Boeing products and services. A wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing (NYSE: BA), Boeing Capital provides comprehensive customer financing support while managing a U.S. $4.5 billion aircraft portfolio. BCC is headquartered in Renton, Wash.
SOURCE Hawaiian Airlines